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Rob Radboud

www.barbarayung.nl

Barbara Yung's life in England

 

Early 1978 were very happy times for us. We had our own place where we could go when we wanted. Barbara's mother was giving Barbara more freedom as long as she worked on Friday evening, Saturday and did the accounting. This meant that Barbara could join in with the activi-ties that were organized during the week. Mostly that were parties from the Asian Society or sport events. Barbara was not allowed to come if there was no formal invitation.

Cambridge is lovely town to be in love. It has beautiful historical college's with romantic gardens. A lot of parks, where you can just lay on the grass and chat. There are nice botanical gardens and the walking area Grand Chester meadows, a nice large open plot around the river Cam. When we were there we tried to get a lift from the punters (a typical boat of Cambridge, where you have to push the boat forward with a wooden pole) to the other side of the river. At that side there were no walking paths and the nature was much more wild. Especially in spring, with all the flowers it was lovely just to lay there all afternoon, without being disturbed, doing nothing really, just being together.

Our social life was mostly concentrated around the CCAT. We both liked to sport. I played Volleyball, tennis and badminton. Barbara played badminton and table tennis. My table tennis wasn't good enough compared with Chinese students. I was always one of the losers.

Every day with did some sport. Because we sported a lot we were very popular by the physical education teaching staff. There was one teacher in particular, a woman who was what older and not very tall. Barbara called her 'Short and fatty'. She was often looking for us when she needed someone to complete a team or substitute someone who had been injured. Barbara would say "Short and Fatty is looking for us again".

Often there were special activities at the CCAT. I remember that the school organized once an educational session about sex. It was a film which would show everything about a healthy sex-life. Of course everybody wanted to see it, the lecture hall was completely filled up. The film was a bit disappointing , it was very proper and traditional. Barbara's comment therefore was "I hope my sex life is going to be better than that!".

Also we went often to the town centre visiting shops, not buying anything as we didn't have much money. My favorite shop was the book store. Cambridge has an enormous bookstore. I like books. When we were there I had great fun secretly observing Barbara when she nosing around all types of books. Barbara was very expressive with her face. By looking at her face I could see what she thought of the contents of the book. The funniest expressions where the ones where she at first had no idea she was looking at and then she realizes what it was about. Barbara liked puzzles and mathematics, she did say that she wouldn’t have mind studying mathematics instead of Art.

Sometimes we went out to eat. Most often we went to the Indian restaurant at Regent Street. We both liked Indian food. Rogan gosh was our favorite dish. Another advantage of the Indian restaurant was that we never saw any local Chinese there. That was important for Barbara, in order to avoid the gossip with which her mother would have to deal with.

There were plenty of parties at the CCAT. The Asian society was very active and also the Art session had great parties. There were fancy dress parties with a dress theme. The art students did their best to make the nicest and original dresses. Barbara also did her best to make me and herself look original and pretty. For Barbara that was no problem. Somehow whatever she wore she looked beautifull. It was more a challenge to dress me up. She made the most wonderfull creations. I have been dressed in toga's as a Roman God, as an Arabian and who knows what else. It is a pity there are no pictures of those parties.

1978 happy days meadows

Snapshot of Barbara and me taken at Grantchester Meadows

 

幸福时光

1978年的前半年对我们来说是幸福时光。我们有了自己的住所,想去就去。只要美玲坚持在周五晚上和周六工作,还兼做店里的会计,美玲的母亲就逐渐给她更多的自由。这样,美玲就可以参加我们在周一到周五组织的活动了。通常都是亚洲协会组织的聚会,或者做运动。如果没有正式邀请函,美玲还是不能去。

剑桥是一个谈恋爱的好地方。这里有历史悠久的学院,里面有浪漫的花园;这里有很多公园,你可以随意躺在草地上聊天;这里有漂亮的植物花园和大切斯特草原散步区——一个环绕河岸的很大的开放的区域。我们那时会想办法搭船夫的船(一种剑桥很常见的船,撑一下木制的蒿,船就前行了)到河的另一边去。在河的那边是纯野生自然环境,没有行人走出来的小径。尤其是春天,暖洋洋的下午,周围是绚烂的野花,我们静静躺在那里,没有人打扰,什么也不做,只是温馨地待在一起。

我们的社交生活大部分集中在CCAT。我们都喜欢运动,我喜欢打排球、网球和羽毛球,美玲喜欢打羽毛球和乒乓球。我的乒乓球打不过华裔学生,总是属于输的那一方。

我们每天都做些运动,做得多了,以至于体育老师们很喜欢我们。其中有一个年纪大点个子又不高的女老师,美玲背后称她"矮又肥"。当需要人凑齐一个比赛队伍,或者有队员受伤需要替补时,这个女老师总是来找我们,这时美玲就会悄悄说,那个"矮又肥"又来找我们了。

CCAT里面经常有专门的活动。我记得一次学校组织了关于性教育的系列活动,放映一部关于健康性生活的电影。当然每个人都想看,讲演厅里都挤满了人。可是电影有点令人失望,尺寸很恰当,很传统。于是就有了美玲的评论:我希望我的性生活比电影里那个要好。

我们也去市中心去逛商店,只逛不买,因为钱少。我喜欢书,喜欢逛书店。剑桥有一个非常大的书店,一边逛,我一边偷偷观察美玲,她四处翻看各种各样的书时,脸上的表情特别丰富,这真是很有趣。看她的表情就知道她如何看待书中的内容,最有趣的一个表情是开始她不明白书上的内容,突然恍然大悟。美玲喜欢拼图和数学,她曾经讲过如果当初不学艺术,学数学也挺好。
有时我们会去餐厅吃饭。通常我们去Regent 街上的印度餐厅。我们两个都喜欢印度食物,最喜欢Rogan gosh 这道菜。去印度餐厅的另一个好处就是,在那里从未遇见过当地华人,这对美玲很重要,不会有流言蜚语,不会让她妈妈听到后烦恼。

在CCAT里面有很多的聚会。亚裔学生组织非常活跃,也有艺术专题方面的聚会。有次以裙子为主题的穿着漂亮裙子出席的聚会,学艺术的学生竭尽全力做最漂亮最独特新颖的裙子。美玲也尽力让我和她都看起来别具一格又漂亮。对美玲来说不是个问题,因为无论她穿什么,她都很美丽。对于我,就困难多了。美玲做了最棒的创新,让我穿上托加袍扮成古罗马皇帝,就象一个阿拉伯人一样,天晓得,除了穿这个我还能穿什么裙子呢?太可惜了,没有那些聚会的相片。

 

(translated by Julia)

 

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